By Robert Fenbers
Did you know Tri-C is the first community college in Northeast Ohio to offer an associate of applied science degree in Massage Therapy?
The Massage program began in 1998 and opened its clinic in 1999. Located on the Eastern Campus, the program offers students a wide variety of ways to complete their degree. These include: a one year Certificate of Proficiency, a 16 month Associate of Applied Science Degree and a short term certificate in Advanced Massage Therapy. Students that have already completed their degree can choose a one year Post-Degree Professional Certificate.
Upon completion of the program, students may apply for an Ohio medical board massage licensure after successfully passing the MBLEx exam.
The Program strives to prepare students for the world of holistic medicine and a career in massage therapy. The program is not just physical; students must understand exactly how the body works before applying their touch.
“Students don’t realize how intense anatomy and physiology studies are in the science portion of massages,” says Program Manager Mary Segretario.
Students beginning the program can expect to be slowly eased into the world of massage therapy. After learning the basics, they begin massages on classmates and receive them as well. As the second semester begins students will then put their skills to the test on patients.
Nichole Aucelli found herself beginning the massage therapy program after having a change of heart six years into her studies of being a psych student. “I decided I wanted to help people in a different way, I wanted to help people on a different level,” said Aucelli.
She is currently enrolled in a crucial class to the development of anyone striving to become a massage therapist: Applied Muculo-Skeletal Anatomy.
“This is sort of like the bread and butter of what a massage therapist needs to know,” says Professor Ken Williams. In the class, Williams enlightens students on the anatomy of muscles and the bones they are attached to. After teaching each muscle, he then observes the students applying their new found knowledge as they feel for the muscles. The class takes place in a clinic like setting that helps students picture themselves in their future field.
“It makes you feel like you’re already doing that job. The setting just boosts your confidence level,” says Jason Brazzell. His confidence has continued to grow a year and a half into his studies of Massage Therapy. “I had a bunch of people tell me, oh you have amazing hands, and you should go to school at Tri-C.” Reluctant at first, he decided to give it a shot and will be finishing the program in two semesters.
The clinic has played a huge role in the programs continued success. The state of the art clinic began in the eastern campus student services building and moved into The Health Careers and Sciences building in 2011. The clinic offers electric tables, hydroculators, cold therapy equipment and much more equipment to help the students experience a professional setting.
All in all, Segretario says that if you want to succeed in Massage Therapy you have to treat the whole body and whole person. “It’s like looking at the human body as body, mind and soul,” she says.
The Massage Therapy program continues to give students the chance to delve into the world of holistic medicine, as they hone their skills and hope to eventually become licensed massage therapists.